This week I’ve been reading about the concept of Inbox Zero. The idea is that you are working in a controlled and productive way if you have dealt with all the emails in your inbox and got it down to zero. As far as life goals go it’s pretty unrewarding in my opinion, particularly since it’s effects are fleeting even if achieved. There’s always going to be another email.
I actually have five email accounts from different times of my life, for different purposes and with different names. Thankfully I really only use two day-to-day – one for work and one personal.
I used to use a service called Unroll.me to manage my personal email but for various reasons – 1. they said they were stopping the service in the UK after the new GDPR rules came in, 2. I truly believe that use of it increased my spam to the point at which I had to stop using my yahoo account altogether and 3. not to mention the fact that they sell your emails to other companies – I gave it up. Instead I started from scratch, got married (drastic) and opened a new email in my married name. At first it was liberating. Hardly anyone had the address, I only moved accounts I actively used onto the email address and I kept up to filing and deleting. However a couple of years on and there are 180 emails in my inbox. Actually very manageable when you compare to my work email where there are over 10,000!
A few years ago I asked to go on a course to manage emails better. My boss at the time said I could take the course if I really wanted but in his opinion the way to deal with them was to stop worrying about the little number at the bottom of my email window and just get on with the job. I had almost reached that conclusion on my own but he gave me permission and somehow that switched a light in my brain. Now every day I spent ten minutes or so sorting through my work inbox, deleting the things I really don’t need, marking those I need to address but I don’t bother filing the rest. I just use the search function if I want to find something. The added advantage is that if I’m using my phone to read email I can still find them. Not so easy if you’ve filed everything into separate folders that you have to search separately.
The other practical thing I did was unsubscribe from as many marketing emails as possible in my personal account. I still get the ones I really want and read but I’ve reduced the number a lot and the added advantage is that I’m not tempted to buy as much stuff as I was when shops were sending me info on their new stock.
So if you feel like email is taking over your life let me give you permission right now to stop caring about it. Just. Let. It. Go. And, if you want to get in touch, give me a call!